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Dog warden team hits gold with top award

The outstanding work to manage and prevent stray dogs in Chelmsford has earned a top award from the RSPCA. The animal charity has recognised the exceptional efforts made by a team at Chelmsford City Council by awarding it the top gold honour.

Dog wardens and dog posing with Pawprints award

Gold award in stray dogs category

The PawPrints award celebrates public sector organisations ‘who work hard to deliver higher animal welfare standards’. Awards are given in five categories on three levels: bronze, silver and gold. Each level carries progressively more challenging criteria. Chelmsford’s Gold award was given in the stray dogs category.

The council’s Community Protection Team spend their time out and about in Chelmsford. Part of their duties is ensuring the welfare and protection of animals together with the safety of the public.   

The team take an array of measures to prevent the problem of stray dogs and look after dogs that have become strays. All the council’s dog wardens are trained to safely handle the animals. They regularly attend and patrol public spaces such as Hylands Park and Central Park.

The public can report stray dogs on the council website. If you don’t know who the owner is, you should call the council on 01245 606606 to report the dog.

Microchipping to meet legal requirement

Microchipping your dog is a legal requirement. To help owners fulfil this duty, the council offers a microchipping service free of charge if owners bring their dog to the Civic Centre in Chelmsford. It also provides information on how to update microchips if a dog already has one. 

Strays are kept in kennelling until they are claimed by owners. Any that aren’t claimed are gifted to charity kennels for the rehoming process to start.

One source of strays is the consequence of hare coursing. The council team work closely with the rural policing team to help raise awareness and tackle the issue.   

As a priority is maintaining animal welfare, the team regularly attend events such as community fetes to provide advice to owners and promote the wellbeing of animals. They also organise their own events to promote the service.  

Out of hours service goes extra mile

Uniquely, Chelmsford’s team offers an out of hours service so that dogs found by the public during the evenings or weekends can still be dealt with.

"Our team goes above and beyond in their commitment to the welfare of animals. This is what has gained them a well-deserved Gold award and I congratulate them on this recognition of all their hard work.

Whether lost or abandoned, every dog receives compassion and care from our dog wardens. They also go the extra mile with an out-of-hours service to recover and look after strays. Prevention is the best measure, and the council’s free microchipping service is key to helping owners avoid the heartache of loss, ensuring their dog can be identified and returned should they stray from home."

Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford

Microchipping is available by appointment at the Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JE.

You can contact the environment and public health team online for further information.

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Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.